Groubal published an interesting article titled Top 10 Companies With the Most Customer Service Complaints on Twitter: AT&T Worst, Apple Sixth based on some research on Twitter from August 13, 2010 to Aug 16, 2010. It is an interesting snapshot.

Groubal found over 500 companies in the sample which is incredible considering it is only a few days of tweets. Many were local businesses and retail.

Telecommunications was the worst sector, occupying multiple spots in the top 10 (see chart) plus  the number 11 and 12 spots ( Rogers and Vodaphone).

What were the complaints about?

According to the article, 22% of the complaints had reasons for why the customer was unhappy. They categorized them into the following 7 categories:

  • Slow. Approximately 40% of the complaint-reasons mentioned wait times, being put on hold, or otherwise having a difficult time reaching the relevant people.
  • Rude. 17% thought that the customer service representative had been rude to them.
  • Money. 12% mentioned a financial reason for the poor customer service, usually hidden charges or a refusal to reimburse.
  • Care. 11% felt that the customer service rep didn’t care about their problem.
  • Clueless. 10% thought that the service was incompetent or lacking in appropriate knowledge.
  • Quality. 5% mentioned a product or service quality reason, rather than a specific customer service reason.
  • Language. 5% of the complaint-reasons noted a communication problem with the representative, usually referring to outsourced call centers.

Here’s a chart that shows the complaint reasons graphically.

It is interesting that most of the reasons are related to the customer service experience. They have tried to get customer service  through another route and failed. What they seem to complain about on Twitter is the lack of effectiveness of the customer service offerings. There are some complaints about company policies (money) and product and service quality but most complaints are about customer service experience. I wonder if that is found in more studies.

Add any information you have on other studies related to HOW social media gets used in the comments section below.


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Adele Berenstein

Adele Berenstein is an Experienced Customer Satisfaction Executive, recently retired from a Large Global IT Organization after a long productive management career including Sales, Marketing, Services, teaching and education center management and most recently, 19 years in customer satisfaction management. She turned around divisions with customer satisfaction problems, implemented measurable improvements and management systems, and implemented programs to prevent problems from ever affecting customers.

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